Myanmar junta pardons more than 2,000 prisoners jailed for dissent against military

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Myanmar’s junta on Wednesday announced it had pardoned more than 2,000 prisoners jailed under a law that criminalizes encouraging dissent against the military.

The military pardoned “2,153 prisoners serving sentences under Penal Code 505 (a) to mark Kasone Full Moon Day”, a Buddhist festival, the junta said in a statement.


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The law -- which carries a maximum three-year jail term -- has been widely used in the junta’s crackdown on dissent since it seized power in February 2021.

The military ordered the pardons “for the peaceful mind of the people and on humanitarian grounds,” the statement said.

Those who re-offend will have to serve the remainder of their sentence with an additional penalty, it added.

More than 21,000 people have been arrested since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government and plunged the country into turmoil, according to a local monitoring group.

At least 170 journalists have been arrested since the putsch, according to the United Nations.

The country typically grants amnesties to thousands of prisoners to mark national holidays or Buddhist festivals.

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